In the past few years there have been some top-tier women athletes who have definitely motivated me to increase my physical activity and caused me to think, "If they can do THAT, there is no reason or excuse for me to not think I can do THIS!"
Three of those women are Dana Torres, Janet Evans and Diana Nyad and they just happen to be swimmers, my favorite sport. Why are they inspiring? See below:
Dana Torres is my age, technically 4 months younger. She is a twelve-time Olympic medalist and most recently competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics and won three silver medals as the oldest swimmer ever to earn a place on the U.S. Olympic team.
Janet Evans is 40 and recently announced her comeback with intentions to swim in the 2012 Olympic Trials. She held world records in the 400-, 800-, and 1,500-meter freestyle events. Her 800-meter freestyle record was one of the longest standing ever in the sport of swimming, lasting through four Olympic Games. You can read more about her here http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/more/08/25/Catching-up-with-Janet-Evans/
D.L. Steward wrote about Diana Nyad, "But for each of us, isn't life about determining your own finish line? This journey has always been about reaching your own other shore, no matter what it is, and that dream continues."-The toughest athlete in the world is a 62-year-old woman. Diana recently attempted to swim from Cuba to Florida for the third time. The swim is 103 miles and through rough, shark and jellyfish infested waters.
I am not trying out for the Olympics or planning on swimming from Cuba to Florida, but in my own way, I will be working to expand my mind and instead of telling myself, "I can't possibly accomplish all of this," I have been telling myself that if these woman, who are my age and older, are able to do the above, it isn't my body that is not capable of doing it and rather my thinking that is preventing me. I will definitely have to increase the amount of physical activity in the coming year to reach my physical goals on the list, but it is the mental part that I am working on to reverse that is probably the bigger challenge.
Eventually I am sure I will turn my thinking from, "Can I?" to "I think I can -- I think I can."